1pm: Zalmen Mlotek’s Living Room Concert Mr. Mlotek is an internationally recognized authority on Yiddish folk and theater music as well as a leading figure in the Jewish theatre and concert worlds. For the past 20 years, he has been the Artistic Director and conductor at Folksbiene. Directed by Joel Grey.
2pm National Theatre: A Midsummer Night’s Dream Shakespeare’s most famous romantic comedy will be filmed live from the Bridge Theatre in London, and presented in encore screenings at IFC Center. Gwendoline Christie (Game of Thrones), Oliver Chris (Green Wing, NT Live: Young Marx), David Moorst (NT Live: Allelujah!) and Hammed Animashaun (The Barber Shop Chronicles) lead the cast as Titania, Oberon, Puck and Bottom.
Directed by Nicholas Hytner, this production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream will build on the success of his immersive staging of Julius Caesar (NT Live 2018). The Bridge Theatre will become a forest – a dream world of flying fairies, contagious fogs and moonlight revels, surrounded by a roving audience following the action on foot.
3pm: Soundtrack of Our Lives: A Celebration for the Film and TV Music Community The event will raise money for MusiCares and feature appearances by Sting, Catherine O’Hara (pictured), “Weird Al” Yankovic, Elisabeth Moss, Anika Noni Rose, William Shatner, Auli’i Cravalho, John Stamos, Patti LuPone, Danny Elfman, Andra Day, Zachary Levi, Reba McEntire, Clive Davis, Hans Zimmer, Alan Menken, Hildur Gudnadóttir, Alex Newell, Arturo Sandoval, Rita Wilson, Harvey Fierstein, Holly Hunter, Marc Shaiman and Darren Criss, among others.
The hour-long show will also feature special performances including a musical number by Zachary Levi, Patti LuPone, Alex Newell, Yankovic, Peter Gallagher and Harvey Fierstein, and a song from “The Nightmare Before Christmas” featuring a reunion of Danny Elfman, O’Hara, Paul Reubens and Ken Page. Also on deck: Alan Menken and his daughter Anna Rose perform “A Whole New World” from “Aladdin” and Paul Williams sings his classic “The Rainbow Connection” from “The Muppet Movie” with special guests.
4pm–9:30pm: Marie’s Crisis Virtual Piano Bar Tonight’s scheduled pianists are Alex Barylski (@Alexander-Barylski) and Adam Michael Tilford (@Adam-Tilford-1).
5pm: Watch Me Work: Suzan Lori Parks this performance piece, is a meditation on the artistic process, and an actual work session, featuring Suzan-Lori Parks working on her newest writing project. Traditionally hosted on the mezzanine of The Public Theater Lobby, this new version will bring the program to your home via Zoom sessions and HowlRound livestreams.
6pm: The Living Room Plays Workshop By The Old Globe tune in to learn how to write, develop, design, direct, and present your own “living room”–inspired short plays in a final live-streamed, site-specific presentation.
6pm: Classic Stage Company: Brad Giovanine, Katrina Yaukey, Whit K. Lee, and Rob Morriso. Members of the cast of Assassins speak and occasionally sing, in conversation with director John Doyle.
6:30: Rattlestick Playwrights Theater and New York Theatre Salon present Global Forms Theater Festival opening night with a virtual potluck. Prepare your favorite dish and sign onto the Zoom party to meet all the artists who will be participating in our week long festival. We are so excited to kick things off with stories, food, and a live Zoom DJ.
7pm: Falsettos Sing-A-Long A special sing-along edition of William Finn and James Lapine’s Falsettos will stream for free on BroadwayHD as part of the ongoing Pride celebration. Donations during the stream will benefit Broadway Cares/Equity Fights AIDS and its emergency grants for pandemic relief.
The production, presented by Jujamcyn and Lincoln Center Theater, opened at the Walter Kerr Theatre in 2016. Lapine directed the revival, which starred Christian Borle as Marvin, Andrew Rannells as Whizzer, Brandon Uranowitz as Mendel, and Stephanie J. Block as Trina—each of whom earned Tony nominations for their work. The staging was filmed in 2017 for PBS’ Live From Lincoln Center.
7pm: Stratford Festival: The Adventures of Pericles Scott Wentworth directs a 2015 production of this magical production of Shakespeare’s epic tale is a delight for the eye and ear. Filled with music and brilliant spectacle, it follows a fairy-tale hero on a miraculous journey to one of literature’s most poignant reunions. “Moving and fun from beginning to end,” it is a story rarely told, and one you won’t soon forget. Evan Buliung stars.
7pm: Hypochondriac 1 Theater in Quarantine presents Hypochondriac 1, the first installment of a new adaption of Moliere’s The Imaginary Invalid.
7pm and 9pm: Still Waiting By Redhouse written specifically for Zoom is the Sequel to the Regional Premier play Waiting for the Host, which Redhouse recently produced and streamed. In addition to streaming Still Waiting, Redhouse will reactivate the stream of Waiting for the Host for those that were unable to see the initial streamed performances.
Written by playwright Marc Palmieri and designed specifically for online performance, Still Waiting continues a few months after the All Saint’s Church production of their online version of The Passion Playwhile adding a new character, a pretentious Artistic Director, played by Jeremy Kushnier.
7pm: Quarantine Cabaret and Cocktails produced and hosted by entertainer and LML Music founder, Lee Lessack, and actor and frequent SNL regular, Robert Bannon. See above for the guests.
7pm: Kernel of Sanity By Bard at the Gate Matthew Hancock, Abigail Breslin, Josh Hamilton, and Miatta Lebile star in Kermit Frazier’s Kernel of Sanity as part of Paula Vogel’s Bard at the Gate series, followed by a live discussion on Zoom with Frazier, director Gregg Daniel, and Pulitzer Prize winner Vogel.
The 1978, Kernel of Sanity examines the close relationship between a young Black actor and an older Caucasian actor with whom he had previously appeared in a production of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
Free, but a donation is suggested, to help Martha’s Table, supporting higher quality education, health and wellness resources, nutrition, and parents in the neighborhoods in Washington, D.C. on both sides of the Anacostia River.
7pm: BPN Town Hall: My Broadway Memory with guests Caitlin Kinnunen & Josh Lamon a new live, visual podcast with Broadway’s biggest names. Guests will choose a Playbill from their collection at random and take a trip down memory lane. Michael, Brian, and guests discuss the headshots, ads, and other traits that make a Playbill a time capsule of Broadway history. Michael and Brian are calling out to theatre fans everywhere to join in on the fun by creating their own My Broadway Memory videos and sharing them to Instagram or Facebook. Be sure to tag @MyBroadwayMemory and use use the hashtag #MyBroadwayMemory to have a chance at being featured on the Broadway Podcast Network site.
7pm: The 1599 Project: Hamlet Directed by Jim Niesen starring in alphabetical order; Joey Collins, Terry Greiss, Michael-David Gordon, Sam Metzger, Alex Spieth and Katie Wieland. Original Music by Sam Day Harmet.
7:30pm: Massenet’s Manon A beautiful ingénue with a taste for the finer things makes her way to Paris, where she becomes irresistible to the men around her—including the passionate Chevalier des Grieux, whose all-consuming love for her leads to ruin. Based on the same scandalous 18th-century novella that inspired Puccini’s Manon Lescaut, Massenet’s version features one of the all-time most challenging, and most beguiling, roles for soprano, as well as the composer’s trademark combination of sophistication and sensuality.
7:30pm: (Re)Live Arts Streaming Bill T. Jones’s dance and performance complex, New York Live Arts, releases two works by Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company.
8pm: Stars in the House with Seth Rudetsky. Pride Special
8pm: King Lear By NY Classic Theatre a free virtual zoom reading of William Shakespeare’s King Lear as a fundraiser for an intended full production later this year. Seven Equity actors, who will all be receiving salary, health insurance and pension benefits for the rehearsals and performance. The cast features Connie Castanzo as Cordelia/Fool, Vivia Font as Goneril/Cornwall, Josh Jeffers as Edmund/Kent, John Michalski as King Lear, Jamila Sabares-Klemm as Regan/Albany, Nick Salamone as Gloucester and Luke Zimmerman as Edgar/Oswald.
The rehearsed virtual reading, adapted and directed by Mr. Burdman, will utilize the “happy ending” of Nahum Tate’s 1681 adaptation, which was popular in England for over 150 years, until Shakespeare’s original tragic text was restored in 1838. The Tate version of King Lear has not been performed in New York City in over 30 years. In its full production, NY Classical intends to stage Shakespeare’s and Tate’s versions on alternate nights.
9pm: Can’t Cancel Pride iHeartRadio and P&G bring together the most inspirational voices in the LGBTQ community, along with LGBTQ allies, for a benefit stream. Katy Perry, Adam Lambert, Big Freedia, Billy Porter, Kim Petras, Melissa Etheridge, Sia and Ricky Martin, all lend their support.
P&G and iHeart’s goal is to raise $5 million to help a broad spectrum of people in the LGBTQ community most in need, and have partnered with 6 organizations with a long track-record in creating positive change within the community.
10pm: Steppin Forward Virtually to Celebrate the Music of the Legendary Neil Sedaka” Krystin Goodwin, TV/Film actress and Fox reporter will serve as host. The concert features 17 artists, in 15 performances written by Neil Sedaka with either Howard Greenfield or Phil Cody. Neil Sedaka will lead off the concert with a special, introductory message from home. Look for Renn Woods (You Mean Everything To Me), Justin Senense (I Go Ape), Paola Morales (The Immigrant), Denise Kara (Calendar Girl), Soara-Joye Ross (The Hungry Years), Xiaoqing (Mao) Zhang (Stupid Cupid), Emma Campbell (My Friend), Nina Martinez (Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen), Kea Chan (Where The Boys Are), Kayla Merrow (The Diary), Mitch Week (Rosemary Blue), Pat Labez (Run Samson Run), Anthony Salvador Lewis (Breaking Up Is Hard To Do), Gloria Papin (Solitaire), Marissa Mulder and Jon Weber (Love Will Keep Us Together).
The virtual concert, free of charge, donations can be made to benefit The Actors Fund. The show will be streamed on broadwayworld.com, T2Conline.com YouTube and Facebook Live. Now on demand until July 6th!
Have You Begun Dreaming of It Yet? (PART I)
What else – White Christmas, of course!
December is jampacked with great entertainment, so I hope you’re caught up on your shopping, because there are lots of treats for you this month. Here’s a stockingful of events that you shouldn’t miss.
If you’re looking for probably the most glamorous gift of the season, drop by Doyle Galleries to at least look at The Ellin and Irving Berlin Sapphire and Diamond Ring. Bidding is estimated to begin at $200,000 at the December 14th auction.
Jason Henderson kicked off the month reprising his highly acclaimed latest venture, Getting to Noël You at Don’t Tell Mama on the 4th. If you missed this evening, don’t worry – he’s back by popular demand—same time, same location—on January 24th and February 11th. It’s quite a curious and fast-paced ride he takes us on, and it’s one not to be missed.
The York Theatre has delivered a mitzvah–just in time for Christmas. Billed as a Musical Comedy of Biblical Proportions, The Jerusalem Syndrome certainly lived up to expectations. You must see it to discover the meaning of the title, which is fact, not fiction.
While this has been in development for several years, the skilled midwifery of the York brought forth a little bundle of joy that had the audience laughing at its humor and touched by its message. Sensitive to the current Middle East conflict, the York bravely went ahead with the project, which affords everyone a chance to marvel and understand the miracle that is Israel.
It’s running through the end of the year—visit the York website https://yorktheatre.org for more info.
Urban Stages has announced its “2023 Winter Rhythms” series, the award-winning music festival at Urban Stages Theater (259 West 30th Street – between 7th & 8th Avenues).
It began with a gala on December 6 entitled “Nights at the Algonquin: A Celebration of The Oak Room Supper Club,” featuring many legendary cabaret performers including Natalie Douglas, Boots Maleson, Steve Ross, and Daryl Sherman. Hosted by Michael Colby (author of The Algonquin Kid), the evening began with a champagne and wine reception followed by the show at 7:30 with a post-show gathering to follow.
On Sunday, December 10 at 3pm “Created at the Algonquin: Songs from Musicals Written at The Algonquin,” featuring performances by Craig Bierko, Shana Farr, Jenn Gambatese, Anita Gillette, Jon Peterson, Steve Ross and others. The program will be directed by Sara Louise Lazarus with Michael Lavine directing the music.
As part of the festivities, Shana Farr will reprise her glorious Barbara Cook tribute on the 16th. Ice Cream,. Anyone?
Everyone’s favorite is Karen Mason, whose show Christmas! Christmas! Christmas! is one night only at Birdland at 7 pm on the 11th.
Stay tuned for Part II for Christmas romance, tradition, and good will!
Head To The The Algonquin Hotel For Some Holiday Cheer
As we head into the holiday season, The Algonquin Hotel’s December event lineup is open to both hotel guests and New York City locals. The hotel will spread holiday cheer with a variety of festive performances, cocktails, and experiences including:
- Cocoa and Carols Happy Hour: Daily, 5-8PM, Every evening this December, all are invited to enjoy Specialty Cocoa while Christmas carols chime at the Blue Bar. Drinks will include Mexican Hot Chocolate spiked with mezcal
- KT Sullivan Cabaret: December 5th, 12th and 19th, Sullivan will perform her iconic Christmas Cabaret. As noted by The New York Times, Sullivan is a thrilling Off-Broadway performer with over eight published albums
- Rocco Dellaneve’s Rat Pack Christmas: December 7th, 14th and 21st, Rocco Dellaneve will perform iconic songs from the Rat Pack Christmas album with special inclusions of Santa with Sinatra, Rocco of the Snow, Rudolph and the Rat pack
- The Serafina’s and Broadway Vocalists: December 8th, 15th and 22nd, enjoy the high kicking – precision line dancing Christmas tradition around The Algonquin tree. The Serafina’s will be available for pictures and autographs from 6pm to 7pm, followed by special Broadway vocalists
A portion of proceeds from all events will be donated to Toys for Tots.
Beyond the December events, The Algonquin Hotel is located in a prime position nestled in the heart of Times Square and Fifth Avenue, making it the perfect launchpad for a New York City holiday experience. The hotel is a historical jewel that emphasizes the importance of making unique, storied experiences. Since its opening in 1902, The Algonquin Hotel is famous for its timeless style and desire to honor the literary and cultural elite. The distinguished Round Table Restaurant and Blue Bar offer tasteful dining inclusions and curated cocktails that are sure to excite everyone.
Photo credit: The Algonquin Hotel, Autograph Collection
My View: IT’S TOUGH TO SWING LIKE FRANK….THIS TOUGH GUY CAN…..ROBERT DAVI
The atmosphere in The Boca Black Box was akin to The Sands Hotel in Las Vegas last night as movie/TV star Robert Davi (140 films and counting) swaggered onto the stage to sing and swing the songs of Frank Sinatra. His show, titled “My Kind Of Town” had all the elements of a Sinatra event thanks to Davi’s personality which radiates the same mystique and musical excitement that ‘Ol Blue Eyes” possessed. Robert Davi’s performance was not a great actor acting a role… this was Robert Davi, a great actor who started his career as a trained singer thrilling an audience singing songs made famous by Frank Sinatra, but with Davi’s own magnetism and vocal prowess. I don’t know if Sinatra ever played Boca Raton but Robert Davi turned Boca into ‘his kind of town last night” as he brought the musical substance and charisma of “the chairman of the board” to South Florida.
Davi’s had a long and distinguished career in show business and this Boca Black Box audience got to see a lot of the musical part of it last night. The tough guy movie actor sang the music of Frank swinging it “his way”
About Robert Davi:
Robert Davi, an American actor, singer, writer, and producer has played the roles of main villain and drug lord Franz Sanchez in the 1989 James Bond film License to Kill. He was FBI Special Agent Bailey Malone in the NBC television series Proflier. He played a Vietnam veteran and FBI Special Agent Big Johnson in Die Hard. Davi played the opera-singing heavy Jake Fratelli in The goonies, Hans Zarba in Son of the Pink Panther and Al Torres in Showgirls. His album, Davi Sings Sinatra—On The Road to Romance, hit #6 on the Billboard jazz charts. Praised for his voice, Davi debuted as a headliner at The Venetian, in Las Vegas.
Adrienne Haan Celebrates Irving Berlin and Christmas at the Triad
This Christmas take a big scoop of classic Irving Berlin songs, have them sung by the ever sparkling Adrienne Haan, sprinkle in the voice of her musical director, Richard Danley and you have a festive feast for your ears. I have seen a number of Ms Haan’s shows at the Triad and each one includes something that makes it a step above a typical cabaret show. The first time I saw her there was an actual tuba on stage; the second a number of costume changes, other shows had duets with guest stars or choreography; this time hearing the singing voice of her long-time accompanist and musical director, Mr Danley. The two have bantered in the past but in this show Richard shows his vocal and comedic side with songs like I Paid My Income Tax Today and How About a Cheer for the Navy.
Of course Adrienne blew her audience away with her renditions of There’s No Business Like Show Business and Blue Skies; but, hearing the usually silent man behind the piano was a surprise to me like Teller taking the stage from Penn and his baritone was as shocking as hearing the bumbling Gomer Pyle turn into the rich voiced singer, Jim Nabors. The two of them created a wonderful celebration of Mr Berlin’s musical catalogue with a combination of solos and duets.
Entering the theater, as the holiday season begins, and a show title of White Christmas at the Triad Theater, one would expect to hear 90 minutes of Christmas songs; but, read the second line on the program and you realize that it is really a celebration of the man who wrote one of the most recognizable holiday songs of all time, White Christmas. Not only will we hear the music of Mr Berlin but we will get some insight into his life as Adreinne celebrates his 130 year anniversary of his arrival in the United States. From Europe to Broadway to Hollywood; in military songs, love songs or holiday classics the trio of Haan, Danley and Berlin take us on a historical journey of a life well lead.
Opening the show in a festive seasonal outfit ready for a New Years Eve celebration with “ice” dangling from her ears and around her wrist Adriene introduces us to some well-known Berlin tunes Alexander’s Ragtime Band and Let Me Sing and I’m Happy. One of the treats of her shows is that she does a lot of research into the music she sings and she has done her homework telling us about the life of Israel Beillin, immigrant from Imperial Russia, the country now known as Belarus. He only spoke Yiddish when he landed on Ellis Island so Ms Haan sings Ofyn Pripetchik in his native tongue and then follows with Berlin’s Give Me Your Tired, Your Poor – a tribute to that wonderful Statue in NY harbor. She finishes this section of the show with Marie from Sunny Italy which gives her the opportunity to show her strong vocal ability with a long strong belt of a song.
Berlin came to America in 1893 at the age of 5 which means he was drafted into the army during World War 1, where he wrote the famous anthem Oh How I Hate to Get up in the Morning and which Ms Haan sang in military uniform. A number of tunes that Berlin wrote for both World Wars followed as the two singers alternated songs and Adrienne gave us some more tidbits about the composer. The song I Paid My Income Tax Today sung by Mr Danley is actually owned by the IRS. (I wonder is THEY have to pay tax on the royalties they earn when it is sung.)
Ms Haan is a proud Luxembourger and as life imitates art, or vice versa, Mr Berlin’s Broadway and film musical, Call Me Madam is based on the life of Perle Mesta who was the Ambassador to Luxembourg from 1949-1953. Haan again showed she’s the singer with the zinger when she sang The Hostess with the Mostes’ on the Ball from that show as well as the tribute to the fictitious country in that show Lichtenburg. As far as art leading to reality it is interesting to note that Mr Berlin’s home, 17 Beekman Place, was purchased by the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg in 1990 a year after Berlin’s death.
Berlin wrote over 1,500 songs in his 60 years of composing so to highlight all of the numbers Haan sings is too long a list; but, the jaunty I’ve Got the Sun in the Morning, They Say that Falling in Love is Wonderful, Cheek to Cheek and Blue Skies show her range of interpreting music. The love song Always was a particularly important song to Berlin and Haan did it justice as this song was written to Berlin’s wife, Ellin Mackay, on their wedding day.
Of all the show tunes, patriotic anthems, and love songs performed in this show I have to give a special shout out to the Haan/Danley duet of You’re Just in Love. I have seen it sung by a number of Broadway stars, Merman, Stritch, Donald O’Connor and Larry Blyden, (and for the newer generation, Laura Osnes and Santino Fontana) in the past; but I’ve never seen the male singer play the piano at the same time. WOW!
It is the holiday season, remember, so Ms Haan’s third costume change is a beautiful red gown that fits the time and she finished the evening with the traditional songs of the Yuletide spirit, including Happy Holiday, I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm and of course White Christmas.
This is not a traditional Christmas carol singing show but Ms Haan never is one to follow the norm. This was a wonderful tribute to Mr Berlin with added surprises featuring the excellent wit and talents of both Adrienne and her musical director and accompanist of 22 years, the unsung (until this show) singer Mr Richard Danley.
A second show is at the Triad on Tuesday, December 5 at 7PM. It will get you smiling and into the holiday spirit.
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